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I told you so

I have always said September and October are the best months for sailing and now the weather re-enforces that message.The race weekend to Poole is full and we have had to turn 2 people away. there are a couple of spaces left on the other 2 race weekends and 2 left on the cruise across to St Vaast from Thursday evening 2nd October to the Sunday afternoon. At least one good Dinner out and the chance to visit the splendid market at St Vaast plus bring some wine back.

Bookings are up so if you want a place on the last few races or courses don’t delay.

Fastnet 2015 Initial details are now available and we already have 2 bookings.

Abroad thoughts from Home.

Race weekend–suitable for novices –now on special offer see Offers page or programmeNow Full but October race also suitable for novice racers.

Wild Spirit under Spinnaker in round ireland race

Wild Spirit under Spinnaker in round ireland race

After 10 weeks at sea I am back home and trying to sort out the admin. to make it harder the sun is shining and the Dog thinks he has a few walks credit to use.
The sailing round Ireland and Scotland was great, this plus marvelous company made it truly memorable despite a few days bad weather.
We picked up some silverware in the Round Ireland race and finished without any casualties despite 39Kts of wind and some 8 metre waves. The reports are drafted and I will edit them soon then publish.

September and October are my favourite months for sailing around the Britain, the sea is warmest around 21st September there is no hassle finding a parking place or restaurant table for the night and everyone is pleased to see you.

Our race programme has two weekends suitable for novices and one across to Cherbourg which already has one novice so we will only take one more who has not sailed before. The cruise across to st Vaast is one I always look forward to as I love its Saturday market and a couple of good meals out.

Some RYA courses are full but there are some spaces and if you don’t want to do a qualification you can just come sailing. The summer issue of getting at least 4 night hours in is no longer a problem and the probability of bad weather is less than most other months. Some of the anchorages which just get too congested in the Summer are now nearly empty–I am looking forward to sailing again in a week or so.

Yachting Races from Around the World

Every year there are hundreds of Yachting Races all around the world, some take place on the same race course every year, some take place on difference courses and waters each race and others even circumnavigate the globe. This info graphic created by Wild Spirit Sailing provides a guide to the top yachting races on the sailing calendar. This info graphic travels throughout the world stopping at some of the most popular and famous yachting races along the way from the Sydney Hobart Race in Australia to the Americas Cup in San Francisco and everywhere in-between. Each section of this info graphic gives details of where the race starts and finishes, the location and course length and how many entries each race has. Each section also chronicles the current winners, when the next race will take place and finally a fun fact about each race. For example did you know that the America’s Cup is the oldest international sporting trophy? Or that in 2004 while competing in the Vendee Globe, Roland Jourdain sailed 439 in an unbelievable 24 hours! If you are a sailing enthusiast, a keen competitor or just a curious spectator this info graphic will provide you with all you need to know about the top yachting races from around the world!

Cruising bargain

For some reason the cruise from Troon on 6th August to Holyhead on 22nd August has not sold so it goes on special at just £495. You don’t need any experience for this one and you can do RYA Competent Crew for an extra £25. We will have one or 2 ‘Qualifying passages’ for budding Yachtmasters but it is not a high mileage trip like the next leg back to lymington.

Destinations are likely to include Arran, Islay, Rathlin island, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man plus possibly Dublin.

Round Ireland race–Wild Spirit takes some Silverware!

Round Ireland Race 2014

Two of the team had helped with the delivery from Lymington to Wicklow but the rest flew in the day before the race. It probably isn’t a good move to be out drinking until the early hours just before the start of one of the world’s classic offshore races, but we were in Ireland and these things happen. Looking at the team the next morning they were more the Motley 7 than the Magnificent.

The forecast had been for a lack of wind but the start saw plenty, two yachts collided and we set off under white sails then hoisted the kite, or rather we tried to hoist it and after a very long time succeeded. The first 40 miles down to Tuskar Rock were magnificent and we flew our second largest spinnaker with occasional Jibes, some of which were intentional, the team settled down up and we started to compete, by the Rock we were 3rd overall according to the official tracking system.

Racing close alongside or friends and rivals from the 2012 race on Desert Star we continued down the southern coast past Cork and Kinsale towards the Fastnet rock. JC took time off the Helm to get some cracking photos of them and they have a video of us we are looking forward to seeing. Here we all ended up becalmed and after several hours Geoff a very experienced Dinghy racer managed to get us going again and I took over to claw away from the pack. The wind returned and in glorious weather we ran under spinnakers up the west close of Ireland. Some major races have good scenery but none quite as good as this coast. We were in a good position leading a group, but this has the disadvantage that there was no-one with a similar characteristics yacht to follow and in the absence of any information on the tides we made a tactical error which cost us several places.

Black Rock was about 20miles ahead and we were concerned that the forecast was for no wind. We could either go out, go in very close and hope for wind down of the mountains or hope to just get through and catch a NE going light tide. The third option didn’t appeal as there was a chance that the tide would take us the wrong side of the Rock, the first meant sailing an extra 10 miles or more with no guarantee of wind. I choose the second option and we ended up becalmed for 12 hours. At least we saw some whales to go with the many Dolphins.

The forecast was for a Force 7 from the SW and soon a Gale warning followed, by the time we reached Tory island we were running before 30 kts with a reefed main and Storm spinnaker. These were seriously big waves (others estimating 8 metres) and we were surfing along averaging well over 10 kts SOG (Speed over ground). Rigger Paul (Now also Navigator) demonstrated some sailing backwards as part of a large broach up a very big wave and I moved to helm for several hours. Harry in his first big offshore race seemed totally unfazed but then he is a Kiwi.

Rounding Tory Island we were still in a full Atlantic gale with sustained wind just under 40 kts. We regularly achieved 14.8 kts through the water and once hit 14.9 with 39 kts of breeze behind us, John and Damian continued their sterling efforts on mainsheet and in the Galley.
We broached a few times but recovered without much fuss and as soon as we had rounded the rocks off Inishtrahull we dipped south to enjoy smaller waves but still a big wind. Now we, and probably several other teams, went off the boil for a bit and continued with a reef in when we should have shaken it out. After 5 hours solid on the Helm I was tired and we agreed a role change for rounding Rathlin Island with rigger Paul taking my watch so I could have a recovery sleep.

Rathiln island has notoriously difficult tides but I had some knowledge of them and as soon as we had reached the right point I went to sleep and Paul and Geoff took us round in good time. I woke once when going through a tidal race and then 5 hours later at Mew Island where I found we had caught up with 4 other yachts. We sailed on south in light winds knowing that much stronger ones were to come. We had expected them from the south but they were SE which made progress easier but waves bigger. By the time we were just North of Dublin Bay the wind had gone due South and strengthened to Force 6/7, the tide was against and progress towards the finish slowed to less than 2 kts. We beat on into the night and with the turn of the tide progress increased but the wind remained hard on the nose and we picked a gap in the bank off the coast to cross to calmer waters inside. The wind was now in the 30s, so not quite a Gale but when you are sailing into it at 7 kts it seems like one and we had only a small gap to get through, we made it but passed within 5 metres of a large metal buoy with waves breaking over the bank around us.

Now in calmer waters but with a F7 we made good progress down to the finish arriving just after 0600 on the Friday morning. The standard Wicklow welcome followed, by standard I mean the standard of hospitality for which the Irish are known throughout the World. The rest is a Blur

12th overall including beating a Volvo 70, 5th in Class and winners of the team trophy as part of the Wild Spirit, British Army (Fujitsu) and Endgame team. Roll on 2016 and our chance to return for what I consider to be the best offshore race in the World.

E-mail problems

The e-mail problem has returned so please send e-mails to paulandjudith.jackson@btinternet.com instead of using the link above

Lots of sailing

I am away sailing now until about 8th July but Judith will sort out inquiries and bookings and I will get e-mails from time to time but not during week from 28th June as it is the Round Ireland race and you can follow us via http://www.roundirelandyachtrace.ie/

Still a few places left on the legs of the Hebrides cruises–we wont be back up there for a few years so this is your chance.

Wild Spirits first and elsewhere in 3 Peaks Yacht Race

Congratulations to Wild Spirit sailor Shelf and the whole team of Wight Rose on winning the 3 Peaks yacht race. in light winds creeping along under spinnaker they were eventually overhauled by the British Army team but overtook them on the run up Ben Nevis to win. Andy Palmer another Wild Spirit regular is still racing and looks set to pick up some silverware.

Hebrides changes

Weddings, visiting Australian Grandparents and travel arrangements have all influenced the changes in to our Hebrides cruising this summer. This has however allowed us to include two 5 day RYA courses out of Oban and Troon.

The dates are now, Leg 1 of cruise Friday 10th July join Holyhead
25th July arrive Oban (may be Dunstaffnage 3 miles north as it is on the Bus route to Glasgow/ airport). Holyhead to Oban–£875 or Holyhead to Troon arrive 30th July £995

RYA or just cruise join 25th July.
26th July depart Oban arriving Troon 30th July

RYA course Competent Crew/Day Skipper from evening Friday 25th July to afternoon Weds 30th for just £295 inclusive (but allow for 2 meals out). You can just come and sail on this trip and enjoy the superb scenery.
There are buses and train from Glasgow/ airport and Inverness airport to Oban and half hourly train service from Troon to Glasgow/airport.

Evening Friday 1st Aug to afternoon Weds 6th RYA course Competent Crew/Day Skipper from August for just £375 inclusive (but allow for 2 meals out)or you can just come and just sail on this trip and enjoy the superb scenery.

7th August depart Troon arriving Holyhead 21st August. £875,
There are good train services from Holyhead plus one way car hire.

22nd August depart Holyhead arriving Lymington by 31st August.
Great for budding Yachtmasters with 2 or 3 overnighters plus Qualifying passages.£425.

Oban to Troon and Troon to Troon and Holyhead to Lymington are all inclusive but allow for 2 dinners out. For the others breakfast and lunch are included but we run a kitty for Dinner.

June Update

I have one space on the Round the Island race for a lady at £395. Otherwise I can get you spaces on a competitive yacht based at the Hamble for £460 each including training on the Friday.

Currently 2 spaces for the Round Ireland Race and at least one space on each of the 3 fortnights of cruising round the Hebrides in July and August.

I have to give evidence at the Hillsborough Inquest on 13th June so the programme has changed and there is a gentle cruising weekend being run by Nick and Vanda, excellent for introducing a partner to cruising.

Sydney Hobart is full for this year, spaces available on Caribbean 600 and 2 provisional bookings already taken for Fastnet campaign 2015.